New World Symphony: The Aunts

“Hey, was that Squid?” Ren asked Sugar when a pint-sized dynamo went running past them one afternoon.

“It sure was,” said Shug. “Hey, Vi!”


“Hi, Aunt Ren and Aunt Sugar!” Sempervirens said when she turned around and caught up with her aunts. “I’m on a mission! I need to write a report for school, and Mom said I’d get the best ideas over here!”


“We are loaded with good ideas, Little Green!” said Sugar. “Idea number one: eat more cake! Sugar-free, carob cake for health, of course!”

“I like that idea! That way, I’ll have plenty of energy for homework!”


“But what should I write my report on?” Squid asked.

“What are you interested in, Vi?”

“Everything!” Squid answered. “That’s what makes it hard to choose!”


“Whenever I feel that way,” Ren said, “I always ask Sugar what she wants to know more about, then she asks me what I want to know about, and then when I say everything, she says, ‘Then start anywhere!’ See, it doesn’t really matter where you start, Little Green, because if you’re interested in everything, then everything is interesting!”


“I really want to learn about magic!” Sempervirens said. “If I could write about anything, that’s what I’d write about!”

“Oh, I love magic,” replied Ren. “And so does your Aunt Shug. You have come to the right place!”


Sempervirens met Miss Penguin on the back path.

“I’m writing a report on magic!” said Sempervirens.

“Oh, that’s great, Little Green!” replied Miss Penguin. “I bet Lil Penguin would love to read it. Do you want to share it with her sometime?”

“Oh, she’ll hear it at school,” said Sempervirens. “It’s a read aloud!”


“Magic is a big subject,” said Sugar. “What aspect do you want to focus on?”

“The kind called enchantment!” said Vi. “You know, that makes you feel different? Like if you’re sad, then-then magic comes, and you feel happy!”


“I think I know just what you mean,” said Sugar, and she picked up her best violin.

She began playing a sonata by Mozart. As Ren and Sempervirens listened, they felt the music’s enchantment encircle them.


“How does it do that?” Sempervirens asked, as she took out her notebook.

“There are all sorts of theories about how music affects us,” Ren answered, “but I think that it has something to do with the vibrations, and how certain vibrational rates raise our own vibration, and then we’re lifted up to a happier energy!”


Feeling inspired by the music, Sempervirens began to write.

My aunt Sugar is a magician, and her magic wand is a violin bow.

When she plays, you forget everything that might have ever bothered you. It’s like nothing matters but what’s happening right then.

When I asked my aunt Renée about that, she said it was because the music moves us into the moment right now, but our problems stay back then.

I have decided that I want to be smart like my aunt Renée and musical like my aunt Sugar. My aunt Renée says that I can be whatever I want. I’m a girl, after all.


Her report done, Sempervirens went home.

Bryant Cho and Laurel Haas were there waiting for her.

“What’dcha write your report on?” Bryant asked.

“Girls, and how we can do anything,” said Sempervirens.

“I wrote mine on unicorns that talk backwards,” said Laurel, and then she left.


Bryant, grumbling under his breath about how girls were stupid, headed into the kitchen.

But Sempervirens saw a new girl across the street. She looked neat. She was wearing an overall skirt like Sempervirens likes to wear, and she had super short hair like Aunt Sugar’s, only her hair was blue on top.

“Hi,” said Sempervirens. “Wanna be friends?”


“Sure,” said the girl. “My name’s Jennifer. What’s yours?”

“I got lots of names!” replied Sempervirens. “In addition to my real name, which nobody ever calls me, they call me Vi, Squid, and Little Green! Take your pick!”

“I think I’ll call you Vi,” said Jennifer.


Inside, Bryant was making good friends with an ice cream cone.


He realized he didn’t have to make friends with Sempervirens to be able to hang out here and feast on the ice cream and popcorn that was always available. He could make friend with Vi’s dad, Knox. Knox was nice, he wasn’t a girl, and he liked Bryant’s jokes.


“So the llama said, ‘Don’t stare at my mama!'” Bryant said, and they both laughed.

It was getting late, and Jennifer had to go home.

“I’m glad I met you, Vi,” she said. “I got a feeling we’re gonna be good friends!”


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